I wouldn't say things have been "shaky" lately, but they've definitely been "squishy." Not quite walking across a rockfield on the side of a steep hill. More like squelching through a muddy riverbank riddled with those rounded river stones. Those stones that seem slightly more friendly than the sharp-cornered mountain rocks that are less forgiving when you fall on your ass.
Not convinced that I'll be falling on my ass soon. I do know that the fear of losing all traction is sitting comfortably in my mind. Whenever physical injury, sickness, or exhaustion forces me to slow down my self-judgment seems to pick up. Even if lying on the couch with a heating pad crammed under my back is the best thing that I can be doing, my mind brings up the 5+ lbs I've accumulated the last few months or the classes that I've yet to peruse for my online degree and-of course-the dishes in the sink or laundry in the hamper.
The fear is familiar. I become agitated, teary, and anxious and can't quite place the source of my discomfort at first. It's the fear. So familiar that it sneaks back into the forefront of my mind with little fanfair.
I may not have caught on, unsure of the source of my anxiety and excess tears, but the fear knows what it's doing. He goes right to work plucking those loose seams from our recent encounters. Those frays so susceptible to those classic judgments he brings with him. I've heard it said that addicts need only one hit to be sucked back into their drug addicitions. I can see how that could be when those hurtful digs start streaming through my mind with renewed gusto. It's difficult not to fall back into the darkest darkness immediately, but I've grown and fought for distance and when I saw those thoughts encroaching-I SAW THEM.
It didn't just happen. I wasn't just taken. I was sitting in bed, getting ready to retire for the night with the hubs beside me. I shoke my head, tears welling in my eyes, a quick inhale, shaky exhale with a shuddering shrug.
"It's not completely unexpected. Is it?" I looked forward, to the corner of the room between our light grey curtains and the mirrored doors of the closet. "Everything, lately. Not just throwing out my back but friends at the gym leaving, coming back from the observation schedule to so much free time. I just haven't figured things out again quite yet."
"It's another transition." His fingers fluttered over my elbow, not quite able to reach my arm for a hand hug, just a whisper of support. "We know these changes get to you. Noticing it is a big deal. It's really important. It's going to get better..."
"Gotta get back on those skills though. I'm running wild with these judgments lately." A few tears escaped and my nose began to run. "Been having those, 'Why me?' thoughts a lot. I know it's pointless. I feel so pouty and off-base."
"It's temporary. We gotta get you back into those DBT tricks and it'll get better."
I nodded. Breathed deep and let myself brush the doubt aside. Even if it were just for now, it would do. I'd done enough thinking. I just wanted to cuddle up with my husband and feel the cool spaces between the duvet slowly warm around us.
Of course, it took some anti-anxiety medication to help me meet that goal, but it worked exactly like it should. A good night's sleep is usually won in my case!
Anyways. The doubts are still stalking me. I'm worried. Unsure. But going at it slowly and trying to think less about the scary signs and more about the tools I can use and the people that need me.
And if I fall on my ass... at least their the smoother rocks and we know exactly what to do if I do.